I go among trees and sit still

trees on path to neuschwanstein

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

After days of labor,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it.  As we sing,
the day turns, the trees move.

~ Wendell Berry

Stormy Thoughts

There are times when my young daughter is unspeakably angry with me because I have done something inconceivably unfair in her mind.  She screams and kicks and rages against me – all the while clinging to me desperately for comfort.

That’s a lot like how I feel today.  When death and destruction are dealt out by means of bombs or guns, at least we can say, “This is the work of some evil, deranged man.”  But what are we to think, what are we to say, when the wrath of nature, surely and solely under God’s control, devastates towns and kills defenseless people?  How can we reconcile a loving creator who knows when a single sparrow falls with one who unleashes winds that fling horses into the sky and drop brick walls on babies?  But where are we to look for help and healing but to the one who has borne all our sorrows?

I have to believe that just as my daughter, in her inexperience and ignorance and limited perspective, cannot always understand my actions, I, in the limitations of being human, cannot always comprehend the workings of God.  Just as she instinctively hurls her raging self into the safety of my embrace, I can do nothing but throw my raging self into his arms.